|2010 Season Preview: Florida Marlins||| Print ||
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on April 02, 2010
2009 Regular Season Record:87-75
IF - Jorge Jimenez (Rule V Draft Pick From Red Sox)
IF - Mike Lamb* (Free Agent from Mets)
LHP - Hunter Jones (Trade with Red Sox)
RHP - Jose Veras* (Free Agent from Indians)
RHP - Seth McClung* (Free Agent from Brewers)
RHP - Derrek Turnbow* (Free Agent from Rangers)
RHP - Scott Strickland* (Free Agent from Dodgers)
RHP - Mike MacDougal* (Free Agent from Nationals)
The Ones that Got Away:
*Signed minor league contract.Strengths:¬† Youth and potential, Hanley Ramirez and a decent center of the lineup, Top of the Rotation
The Marlins throughout most of their history have been about player development and potential and this year's version of the Florida Marlins is much more of the same.¬† They've had a lot of success in bringing talent to the big leagues, but they've failed to keep much of it.¬† They are waiting for another season where everything seems to gel at once so that they can take a big leap forward and contend for the division title.
This might be the year they do it, but anytime you ask a bunch of players to step up at the same time it's a longshot.¬† In the starting rotation the potential is clear -- after Ricky Nolasco and Josh Johnson, the bulwarks of the staff, the players competing for the final spots are all highly touted guys who the Marlins expected big things from.¬† So far none of them have delivered, although Chris Volstad made some big steps last year.¬† Anibal Sanchez is still on the rebound from the elbow surgery that derailed him back in 2007 and looks to have his first truly healthy since then and the remaining contenders, Andrew Miller, Rick VandenHurk and Sean West, all have good arms and have gotten plenty of hype.
On the offensive side the Marlins do need to see if Cameron Maybin can live up to the potential everyone thinks he has, while probable first baseman Gaby Sanchez has been waiting in the wings for his chance to jump out and shine.¬† Chris Coghlan, will need to build on his terrific rookie year.
However the only proven strength of this team is the center of the order where the elite Hanley Ramirez bats third, followed by Jorge Cantu who has evolved into a solid power/average type of hitter as has Cody Ross who'll bat fifth. ¬†After him comes Dan Uggla, whose power is unquestioned but has an ugly tendency to strike out a lot.¬† Still it's a decent offense and while they might not rate an A, they'd certainly rate no lower than a C+/B- going into the season.
Weaknesses: Closer situation, lots of unproven players.
After that the Marlins biggest problem is that few of their players are proven commodities.¬† Coghlan, the most proven of the trio of Coghlan, Maybin and Sanchez (provided Sanchez gets the job) only has a single year of experience, and that as has been shown time and time again, isn't enough of a track record to presume that he can be counted on.¬† The same goes for pretty much the whole pitching staff, where the senior starter, Josh Johnson, is only 27 and has a grand total of 76 Major League starts under his belt.
That means there is likely to be some fairly erratic production for the Marlins at the top and bottom of the batting order and in the starting rotation.
One question that need answering: